A group known as Coalition of Nigerians in Canada (CONIC) has condemned the Federal Government’s decision to freeze the bank accounts of about 20 #EndSARS protesters.
The group described the government’s action as obnoxious and a confirmation that it had resorted to intimidation and harassment of real and imaginary enemies.
It threatened to call on the Canadian government to intervene and impose economic and diplomatic sanctions on the Nigerian government “if need be.”
CONIC, in a statement signed by its coordinators, Yemi Adegbite, Kemi Amusan and Femi Boyede, expressed disappointment that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had been turned into an agent of intimidation and could now “frivolously” secure an order to freeze the accounts of government’s perceived enemies and those they see as the brains behind the #EndSARS movement.”
The statement reads in part: “As Nigerians living in Canada, we do not believe that it is against the law for Nigerian citizens to protest any perceived injustice against police brutality, corruption, and government’s inaction, insensitivity, and fiscal irresponsibility of governments at all levels.
“These, coupled with the ostentatious flaunting of ill-gotten wealth at the expense of the suffering masses and the unresponsive attitude of the government are some of the remote reasons for the #EndSARS protests which were then ignited by the perennial brutality of the country’s police force.
“We say without equivocation that citizens are within their rights to protest peacefully, and the protests were, indeed, peaceful until the government unleashed the soldiers who fired at and killed several of the innocent protesters.
“The UNO Charter and convention protect the fundamental human rights of citizens to peaceful assembly and peaceful protest. Nigeria is a signatory to these instruments but has continuously refused to protect Nigerian citizens, contrary to its obligations under the UNO Charter.
“We, the Coalition of Nigerians in Canada (CONIC) join the other groups of Nigerians in the Diaspora to condemn the government’s action in freezing the bank accounts of free Nigerian citizens while the bank accounts of rogues and bandits in government are left untouched, and are free to enjoy their loots.
“CONIC will be calling on our host government to intervene and impose economic and diplomatic sanctions if need be. In this age and advancement of democracy all over the world, Nigeria cannot reverse into militocracy by unleashing terror on its people, as is currently apparent.
“No right-thinking government anywhere in the world wastes the lives of its citizens as brazenly as has been witnessed in Nigeria under this administration, especially during the #EndSARS protests. Nigeria needs reconciliation and remediation, not intimidation and harassment.”